I challenge anyone out there to dare find fault with the simple perfection of a Friday evening (or whatever day is your work-week equivalent.) Work is done, and you have, without question, of course, changed lives and made the world better (because you are an absolute rock star at your job) — and there are two days ahead of you for which no explanation is owed or expected, to or from anyone!
Two entire days!
Sometimes I spend these weekends grading essays, hosting a boisterous sleepover, or at a basketball tournament or swim meet. Sometimes I turn the kitchen into a place Rachael Ray would envy, filling our freezer full of home cooked pasta dishes that could get my family through a winter, should I get stuck somewhere in the thick of a Maine snowstorm.
I have also been known to lose entire weekends to What Not To Wear marathons. Do not judge.
So, you can imagine how I felt about the day that school got out for the summer. It looked a little bit like this:
My teacher friends will understand when I say it takes a few June days, post-students, to… how shall I say it? Disentangle. A few mornings in which you don’t want to, but you wake up early anyway, already mind-marking the parts of the lessons that need highlighting for which students…until that second when you realize: my work there is done.
I recommend not screaming in delight at this moment, which happens to still be a school day for the other four members of your family. They seem to not like this. You might receive hate stares from your 8th grader or a noogie from your 5th. Your 2nd grader will probably look at you sleepily and mumble what? school? again? and drift back off to sleep.
Alas. There are summery things to do. Things like this:
My camera stayed home on strawberry picking day because it was threatening rain, which bums me out, because had I had it, you could have met the man I picked next to. His name was Burton. On that day, June 26th, he had been married 42 years. In the morning his wife had said to him “Burton, get your ass out this house and pick some damn berries for your wife!”
Out. This. House. I immediately loved a woman I’d never laid eyes on.
And because I had recently ended my school year, and my mind wasn’t yet untangled, I thought this infinitely romantic. Because all things are wonderful when you have nowhere to be, and not a lot to do, and all the time in the world in which to do it.
That’s how I felt at the end of June – with the entire summer out in front of me like a nirvana of unending weekend. And it’s how I feel now with about 3 weeks to go. But first, it began.